Managers/Supervisors constantly make decisions that affect the work of others. Day-to-day situations involving supervisory decisions include employee morale, the allocation of effort, the materials used on the job, and the coordination of schedules and work areas. The supervisor must recognize problems, make a decision, initiate an action, and evaluate the results. In order to make decisions that are consistent with the overall goals of the organization, supervisors use guidelines set by top management. Thus, it is difficult for supervisors to make good decisions without good planning.
An objective becomes a criterion by which decisions are made. A decision is a solution chosen from among alternatives. Decisions must be made when the supervisor is faced with a problem. Decision-making is the process of selecting an alternative course of action that will solve a problem. The first decision is whether or not to take corrective action. A simple solution might be to change the objective. Yet, the job of the supervisor is to achieve objectives. Thus, supervisors will attempt to solve most problems.
A problem exists whenever there is a difference between what actually happens and what the supervisor wants to have happen. Some of the problems faced by the supervisor may occur frequently. The solutions to these problems may be systematized by establishing policies that will provide a ready solution to them. In these repetitive situations, the problem solving process is used once and then the solution (decision) can be used again in similar situations.
Exceptions to established routines or policies become the more difficult decisions that supervisors must make. When no previous policy exists, the supervisor must invent a solution. Problem solving is the process of taking corrective action in order to meet objectives. Some of the more effective decisions involve creativity. To get better ideas, the supervisor follows the steps in the problem solving process. The steps...